Rosa Parks, R.I.P.

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Bets are now being taken on which editorial cartoonist(s) will salute the passing of the Civil Rights pioneer with a panel showing Parks riding at the front of a bus… into Heaven.

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  1. I swear, I set this as my IM away message as soon as I heard the news a couple hours back. Tim, are you cyber-stalking me?

  2. After having passed the torch to Mother Sheehan, of course.

  3. Thanks Rosa.

  4. Oh, she’ll spens at least a few thousand years in Purgatory for this:

    http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/12/08/scotus.parks.ap/

    Unless she has gone to Confession, I guess.

  5. With the beating Bush took over the whole New Orleans thing, I fully expect to see him front-row at the funeral with a shaved head and wearing a burlap sack. And then he will carry the coffin all by himself.

  6. No joy yet, Tim, but you’re prediction will no doubt come true by the end of the day.

  7. She was a great American.

  8. Nothing against Rosa, but I wonder if she was really the first black to refuse to give up a seat to a white in Montgomery?

  9. fyodor,

    No, she was not. The NAACP set out to find a model poster child for this fight. They turned down a handful of other women, waiting for someone ultra-squeaky clean like Parks to come along, because of the certainty that the segregationists would launch a massive oppo research/slander campaign agains whomever ended up as the cause celebre.

  10. “…would launch a massive oppo research/slander campaign agains whomever ended up as the cause celebre.”

    the more things change……

  11. I bet Prussian Blue is hard at work on a song to celebrate the occasion. Racists will probably celebrate Parks’ death as some sort of twisted victory, conveniently forgetting the fact that they’re losing the war.

  12. joe,

    Thanks. I must admit I had always thought of the incident as a spontaneous move on Rosa’s part rather than the calculated political theater you describe. Not that that changes the morality of the law she was protesting of course, just clarifies my understanding of the nature of her arrest. Interesting.

  13. Rosa Parks was to the civil rights movement what Scopes was to the creationism-evolution battle: a walk-on part in a well-staged drama.

  14. As far as I know she was not “recruited” until after she defied the law and paid the fine. She has said in interviews that she was both tired after a day’s work and tired of being treated as a object with no rights. But she acted entirely at that point on her own behalf and with absolutely no grander scheme in mind.

    Her display of personal strength made her a perfect symbol for the bus boycott, and the civil rights leadership quite rightly exploited the opportunity.

  15. The WashPost article goes into more detail, but Isaac is correct. Parks had worked with the local NAACP chapter for some time, but she didn’t stage the event at all. In fact, she normally avoided buses driven by that particular driver, since he was a real asshat, but that day she forgot to check who was driving it.

    What’s sad is that she had to pay a very high personal price for her courage–she had to move to Detroit due to death threats and such, and she and her husband had employment problems for many years. Hustlers like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton should hang their heads in shame at even claiming to be part of the same movement.

  16. Didn’t Cedric the Entertainer’s character say something similar about Ms. Parks in Barbershop?

  17. …she normally avoided buses driven by that particular driver…

    Actually in the NPR piece on her this AM they said that that driver had kicked her off the bus before. It looks like she just had had it up to …well…here. But then I would think that being treated as subhuman (especially by people who are practically subhuman themselves) would wear pretty thin after a while.

  18. Bets are now being taken on which editorial cartoonist(s) will salute the passing of the Civil Rights pioneer with a panel showing Parks riding at the front of a bus… into Heaven.

    The obvious choice is Boondocks, but I’m going to call Curtis.

  19. fyodor,

    ” I must admit I had always thought of the incident as a spontaneous move on Rosa’s part rather than the calculated political theater you describe.”

    No, no. Don’t misunderstand. Hers was a spontaneous move. So were the many other episodes that happened.

    It was the NAACP’s straterizing that was calculated for theatrical value. Parks was just an ordinary person who refused to kowtow.

  20. er, “stratergizing”

  21. Parks was just an ordinary person who refused to kowtow.

    Need more of those, IMO.

    And I am reminded of The Onion’s headline in its Our Dumb Century retrospective.

    Parks: ‘Fuck This Shit, I’m Taking a Cab’

  22. joe,

    “strategery”

  23. joe,

    I think I got it right this time! 🙂

  24. “strategerizizing”

    There we go.

  25. Bets are now being taken on which editorial cartoonist(s) will salute the passing of the Civil Rights pioneer with a panel showing Parks riding at the front of a bus… into Heaven.

    I would say Herblock, except he’s already dead (2001).

  26. Just curious: whatever happened to the bus driver?

  27. Jim:

    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/29484

    Stevo, re: onion article you mentioned: there are, sadly, many in the “might-makes-right” school who post on this board that would use that as their argument.

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